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Comparable Effects of the Androgen Derivatives Danazol, Oxymetholone and Nandrolone on Telomerase Activity in Human Primary Hematopoietic Cells from Patients with Dyskeratosis Congenita

Authors
  • Vieri, Margherita
  • Kirschner, Martin
  • Tometten, Mareike
  • Abels, Anne
  • Rolles, Benjamin
  • Isfort, Susanne
  • Panse, Jens
  • Brümmendorf, Tim H.
  • Beier, Fabian
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Sep 29, 2020
Volume
21
Issue
19
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21197196
PMID: 33003434
PMCID: PMC7584039
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Dyskeratosis congenita (DKC) is a rare inherited disease of impaired telomere maintenance that progressively leads to multi-organ failure, including the bone marrow. By enhancing telomerase activity, androgen derivatives (ADs) are a potential therapeutic option able to re-elongate previously shortened telomeres. Danazol, oxymetholone, and nandrolone are ADs most frequently used to treat DKC. However, no direct in vitro analyses comparing the efficacy of these ADs have been conducted so far. We therefore treated mononuclear cells derived from peripheral blood and bone marrow of four patients with mutations in telomerase reverse transcriptase ( TERT , n = 1),in the telomerase RNA component (TERC, n = 2) and in dyskerin pseudouridine synthase 1 ( DKC1 , n = 1) and found no substantial differences in the activity of these three agents in patients with TERC/TERT mutations. All AD studied produced comparable improvements of proliferation rates as well as degrees of telomere elongation. Increased TERT expression levels were shown with danazol and oxymetholone. The beneficial effects of all ADs on proliferation of bone marrow progenitors could be reversed by tamoxifen, an estrogen antagonist abolishing estrogen receptor-mediated TERT expression, thereby underscoring the involvement of TERT in AD mechanism of action. In conclusion, no significant differences in the ability to functionally enhance telomerase activity could be observed for the three AD studied in vitro. Physicians therefore might choose treatment based on patients’ individual co-morbidities, e.g., pre-existing liver disease and expected side-effects.

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